May 25, 2011

May 2011 Meeting Recap

Although it was a relatively small meeting yesterday, the payoff was great. We were honored that Jeff Nene, from Convoy of Hope, was able to take time away from the Joplin efforts to speak to our group about crisis communication, strategic communication and the power of a story. He was able to easily draw on the recent examples to show how his organization works with the media and other audiences to communicate a strong message. Below are the highlights:

  • Multi-faceted career: Started education pursuing a criminal justice degree. Decided ministry was more of what he was wanting. So he went to a bible college to pursue that. From there he went into television. Now he works for Convoy of Hope doing public relations.
  • Telling the story is important
  • Why did Convoy make the big push into public relations?
  • Always has had a PR position but didn’t always know the value and importance of it.
  • The organization was growing so fast in the past 9.5 years that focusing on PR in the beginning wasn’t made a priority.
  • Past 8 or 9 months the organization decided they needed to look into how to get the word out more about their organization and the needs they help with.
  • With the Haiti earthquake and the aid Convoy of Hope provided, the organization got ahold of the Jonas bothers. The brothers tweeted about Convoy of Hope’s efforts which brought national attention and crashed their website because of the volume of people.
  • After the publicity from the organization’s Haiti efforts Convoy of Hope realized the value of good public relations.
  • The department is split in two areas, the writing side and the relation side.
  • The organization realized they needed to better their media list from their simple excel spreadsheet to a license with Vocus. The media coverage Convoy of Hope received because they reached the right reporters at the right time was astronomical.
  • Shortly after they started using Vocus, March 1, the March 11 Japan earthquake hit, and they had to rush to reach the right people. With the use of Vocus the organization reached people they have never reached before. CNN, and other national news outlets have spoken about the organization.
  • The program also has a great back end reporting function.
  • Power of a story
  • The impact a story can have in pulling the audience in is important.
  • If you can find a compelling story then you’ve got your audiences.
  • Jeff challenged the meeting to find our story and tell it.
  • Think about your organization and what makes it unique.
  • Stories grab people’s attention.
  • The stories of how you’re helping or of what’s going on is what brings the audience.
  • Text CONVOY to 50555 to make a donation to the organization.
  • For every $1 donated to Convoy of Hope $7 worth of goods is given as relief.
  • Believing in what you’re talking about is important and crucial to getting the story out.
  • Jeff recommends organizations develop a checklist for if a disaster or accident happens, what steps are followed. Have the plan and if you can, rehearse it.
  • The plan most likely won’t be executed the way it is written but at least there is a guideline to go by.






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